Today I came home from work with the full intent of training and pumping out the “SPARTAN 300” rematch that Adam challenged me to. After a few minutes practicing my Kettlebell Snatches, I caved in to the urge to rest instead.
There are many times I hear a voice that says “I can’t be bothered” or “you can make up for it tomorrow”, and I am sure I am not alone in this. So, how do you know when to listen to that voice or when to ignore it?
Firstly you need to STOP and let that other voice (guilt) be silenced.
Next, LOOK at your schedule (both training and life). Look at the training you have done over the last week, two weeks or month and look for progress or plateau.
Then, LISTEN to your inner common sense and consider if you need to push harder, change the tempo, add variety or just plain SLOW DOWN!
The bottom line is, that for most of us, a few days or even a week off training can do wonders. Not just for gaining energy and a little reprieve from training but, also for motivation, reflection and even some new inspiration or new goals.
If all you ever do is train, then think about the benefits of rest and recovery. The “I need to slow down” voice should not be ignored.
Recovery lets the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues. Training causes changes in the body such as muscle tissue breakdown and the depletion of energy stores (muscle glycogen) as well as fluid loss. Your progress happens DURING rest!
Recovery time allows these stores to be replenished and tissue repair to occur. Without sufficient time to repair, the body will continue to breakdown from intensive exercise. Symptoms of over-training often occur from a lack of recovery time. Signs of over-training include a feeling of general malaise, staleness, depression, decreased sports performance and increased risk of injury, among others.
An interesting article/podcast by Brad Pilon on his “Inflammation Theory” highlights some interesting considerations when it comes to fat loss and muscle gain. This video presentation is well worth a look. Especially in relation to how lack of recovery could actually hinder your efforts to progress.
When you hit a plateau in either your strength gains, fat loss or motivation, also consider how much stress you are placing on yourself to reach your goals and, your time frame. Are your expectations of how long your goal should take realistic?
Having the awareness to stop, the objectiveness to look and the ability to listen will take you one huge step closer to achieving your goals and performing better for Life!
(Sounds like a battery advert LOL)